Welcome Mat: August 2019

Your monthly “What to” list

Get Psyched for This | Through 8.23

Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips’ King’s Mouth

Is it any surprise that the frontman for a band called The Flaming Lips, who have released albums with titles such as Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots and Telepathic Surgery, has created an immersive installation art sculpture in the shape of a giant metallic head that invites visitors to crawl inside its foam mouth to take in a psychedelic and surreal cascading LED light show synchronized to exclusive Flaming Lips music? No, it really isn’t any surprise. But what is somewhat surprising (and exciting) is that Arkansans can experience Coyne’s King’s Mouth installation this month, thanks to the Arts Center of the Ozarks in Springdale. (acozarks.org)

Reflect on This

George Takei’s Experience at the Rohwer Japanese Internment Camp

George Takei has long been vocal about his childhood experience as a prisoner in Arkansas’ Rohwer Japanese-American Internment Camp during World War II. But recently, likely in light of our nation’s current debate over immigration, Takei’s story has provided inspiration for two vastly different pieces of art. They Called Us Enemy, released last month, is a heartbreaking autobiographical account of the actor’s time at Rohwer told in the form of a graphic novel. On Aug. 12, AMC will premiere The Terror: Infamy, the second season of the network’s historical-fiction horror anthology. The new season is likewise set in a WWII internment camp, with Takei serving as both a consultant and a series regular. (topshelfcomix.com; amc.com)

Learn from This | 8.8

An Evening with Temple Grandin

Dr. Temple Grandin, who has authored or co-authored more than 60 peer-reviewed scientific papers throughout her career as an animal science and welfare expert, is responsible for ushering in a revolution of humane treatment in the livestock-processing industry—an indisputably impressive feat made even more remarkable when one considers that Grandin didn’t speak until she was 3 years old. Since then, Grandin’s insights into her experience as a person on the autism spectrum have made her an international spokeswoman. This month, Grandin will speak at the Fayetteville Town Center about how her diagnosis ultimately became her greatest strength. (fhautism.com)

Get Bowled Over By This | 8.8

Quapaw Tribal Pottery by Betty Gaedtke

When Nora Buffalo Brock died in 1987, the world lost one of the last pureblood Quapaw Indians. Fortunately, however, the strength of the tribe’s cultural tradition isn’t something that can so easily slip away—something that Nora’s granddaughter Betty Gaedtke, or Te-mi-zhi-ka (little buffalo woman), has sought to show in her pottery. As she notes in her artist statement, her interest in traditional Quapaw pottery started decades ago; however, since retiring from her full-time work for the U.S. Postal Service, she’s had time to make pottery her life’s focus. As Betty notes, her pottery pieces might not be antiques—but they are authentic and keep the tradition alive. On Aug. 8, she’ll be speaking at The Old Paint Factory in Little Rock. It’s free and open to the public, but be sure to RSVP as space is limited. (Search Quapaw Tribal Pottery by Betty Gaedtke on Facebook.)

Feast Your Ears (and Tummy!) On This | 8.21-25

Fayetteville Roots Festival

Really, we didn’t need a lot of convincing because the truth is, they had us at “music” and “culinary” and “festival.” But when you start looking into the lineups—including, but not limited to, Mavis Staples (!), Rhiannon Giddens of Carolina Chocolate Drops fame, VIP Master Classes with Georgia Pellegrini, an opening night featuring dozens of tasting stations, along with St. Paul and the Broken Bones and Grammy-nominated artist John Fullbright … well, let’s just say we’re really, really, really sold on this event. For more information—including tickets—visit therootsfest.org.